Under pressure of the raging violence by protesting Jats in Haryana, the BJP’s Manohar Lal Khattar government on Monday announced it will bring a Bill for giving OBC status to the community in the coming assembly session.
Logic demands that it should be enough to control the spiraling violence, which has already claimed 10 lives.
But many feel that this is unlikely to happen as the ongoing agitation has gone well beyond the demand for OBC quota.
The current fight, it seems, has now turned into a battle of supremacy between Jats and the supporters of the BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini, whose house was attacked by the agitating crowd on Saturday.
The genesis of the anger among Jat community particularly against Saini may be linked to the latter’s repeated insulting public statements against the community.
On Saturday Saini threatened to resign if Jats were given quota under OBC category. His latest threat coupled with his earlier controversial comments prompted the BJP to serve him a showcause notice.
Many locals believe that one reason why Jats have exploded so violently this time is because of the frustration over the BJP’s leadership’s reluctance to reign in one of its motormouth MPs i.e. Saini.
It took Haryana to literally burn and administration to collapse for the BJP to issue showcause notice to Saini on Saturday, the day the protesters attacked his house.
Last year, the Kurushetra MP had described Jats as ‘suwar ke bachchon’ blaming them for stabbing Baba Sahib Bhimrao Ambedkar and Ram Manohar Lohia by preventing their entry into the Parliament.
In the video exclusively accessed by jantakareporter.com, Saini is heard saying, “dekho aap ka paksh liya Bhim Rao Ambedkar ne, Parliament mein nahi jaane diya suwar ke bachchon ne,… aur jab Ram Manohar Lohia aaye to en suwar weeron ne Ram Manohar Lohia ko bhi parliament ki dehleez nahi dekhne di. (Look, Bhim Rao Ambedkar took you side and you didn’t let him go to the parliament. And when Ram Manohar Lohia came, then these sons of a swine didn’t let him enter the gate of the parliament.)”
Amidst the announcement by Haryana government to introduce a Bill for OBC quota for Jats, the Saini supporters reportedly attacked the houses of Jats in Safido town near Jind on Sunday.
This has caused considerable tension in the area and the Jats were reportedly considering launching revenge attacks against Sainis both in Safido and Jind.
One of the reasons why the violence has spiralled out of control is because there is very little in the name of local administration in Haryana at the moment.
The dozens of army units were rushed to the strife-torn areas on Friday and Saturday, but the soldiers have been reluctant to intervene directly.
Many videos of protesters carrying weapons while armymen watched have gone viral on social media.
— Anurag Dhanda (@anuragdhanda) February 20, 2016
The demand for reservation by Jats is not a new phenomenon as they’ve been demanding for the same for over ten years. But, it’s the arrogance coupled with the perceived hatred by a powerful MP from Haryana’s ruling party, Saini, which has fuelled the tension to an alarming proportion.
Meanwhile, BJP general secretary in-charge of Haryana Anil Jain appealed to the Jats to call off their agitation, which has badly hit life in the region, and return to their homes as their demands have been met.
“A bill will be brought in the coming session of the Haryana Assembly for granting OBC status to the Jats in the state,” Jain was quoted by PTI.
The current spate of violence has left 10 dead and scores injured. There have been many high-profile efforts to contain the violence, but to no avail.
Even on Sunday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met Jat leaders from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi besides Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Haryana Minister Abhimanyu, BJP MP and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, former Deputy Chief of Army Lt Gen (Retd) Raj Kandyan etc in a bid to convince the protesters to call off their agitation.
However, a leader of the Jat Sangharsh Samiti Rajesh Dahiya said a decision on calling off the agitation would be taken by the community later.
The Jat stir has hit Delhi hard causing emergency-like situation on water supply. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced closure of schools tomorrow as part of water rationing after supply from Haryana was disrupted. The national capital also witnessed massive traffic jams in some parts.
Jats are demanding reservation in the Backward Castes category, but the Manohar Lal Khattar government has announced it will offer reservation only under the economically backward category with four other castes, Jat Sikh, Ror, Tyagi and Bishnoi.
Not only do Jats form nearly 30 percent of Haryana’s voters but they also send at least one third legislators from their community in the new assembly over a year ago.